Background: This paper presents a case study of an automated clinical laboratory in a large urban academic teaching hospital in the North of Italy, the Spedali Civili in Brescia, where four laboratories were merged in a unique laboratory through the introduction of laboratory automation.
Materials and methods: The analysis compares the preautomation situation and the new setting from a cost perspective, by considering direct and indirect costs. It also presents an analysis of the turnaround time (TAT). The study considers equipment, staff and indirect costs.
Results: The introduction of automation led to a slight increase in equipment costs which is highly compensated by a remarkable decrease in staff costs. Consequently, total costs decreased by 12.55%. The analysis of the TAT shows an improvement of nonemergency exams while emergency exams are still validated within the maximum time imposed by the hospital.
Conclusions: The strategy adopted by the management, which was based on re-using the available equipment and staff when merging the pre-existing laboratories, has reached its goal: introducing automation while minimizing the costs.
ARCHETTI, C., MONTANELLI, A., FINAZZI, D., CAIMI, L. et GARRAFA, E. (2017). Clinical laboratory automation: a case study. Journal of Public Health Research, 6(1).